72. Count Down Starts

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Vienna was not sure how to respond. The intense look in his eyes was making her cheeks feel hot. She felt overwhelmed. How could he care so much for her? How did it matter so much to him how her brother treated her. Tristan had not even seen anything about his treatment. He was never there when her father was away and Vincenzo was at his harshest. She found it sweet that he was defending her and declaring to her it was not acceptable for him to witness any harshness from Vincenzo towards her. His threat felt real and it didnt sound like he was going to put up with Vincenzo if he carried on as he was. She had to do something. The thought of Tristan taking on her brother scared her and she visibly shook which didnt escape Tristan's eye who was standing in the middle of the room shirtless still staring at her, waiting for her response to his threats against Vincenzo.

Tristan spoke first but less harshly "Vienna... I think you should go back to lunch... I just wanted to tell you about how I viewed the exchange in the canteen and your brother's treatment of you in general... I just thought you had the right to know...."

Vienna took a deep breath. She closed her eyes and composed herself and then opened her eyes. She whispered "Tristan... You can't ... You can't go after Vincenzo... He is my brother and I dont want you to fight him."

Tristan shook his head starting to pace the floor while putting his hands on his hips, not looking directly at Vienna " Ah, Vienna.... You cant ask me that... You can ask me anything but you cant ask me to let your brother ever cross the line... I put up with it for now because I have to... But my patience and endurance has a limit....What kind of brother is he anyways? A brother who terrorises you and treats you like you are below him is not doing a great job as a brother should for his sister. If he leaves you alone and treats you right, he wouldnt have anything to worry about... But if he doesnt learn to treat you right, I would teach him .... Now go Vienna... My intention was not to keep you waiting...."

Tristan was hoping she left immediately... Her presence was tortorous. She was there but she wasnt his. He wasnt allowed to hug her and hold her in his arms while promising her to protect her from anyone and anything in this world. That was what he wanted to do more than anything. He heard her move. He was looking away. He didnt trust himself not to stop her from leaving if she stayed longer. Why couldnt he have lunch with her all the time? He wished he could... But he had to wait for the interrogation by her father to happen.

He took a deep breath of relief as he heard her leave... He just enjoyed keeping her in the same room too much.

After Tristan reluctantly asked Vienna to go back to her lunch, he stayed in the common room and punched a boxing punch bag in the room for the whole lunch period. Something had snapped inside him. He was protective of her. If anyone else except Vincenzo was the one insulting her, he was not going to show this much restraint but when it came to Vincenzo, he had to watch his temper. He had to only act if it was absolutely necessary. It didnt help that he could not still officially ask her out to be her boyfriend. If he became her boyfriend he could be closer to her family. He could spend more time with her and could shield her from the ignorant brother of hers more than he could now. He had to find a way to make his father bring forward his interrogation with Francesco Rosario. His father wanted him to be prepared. He felt he was.  But for now he had to endure Vincenzo but he was going to watch him closely.  If Vincenzo crossed the line, he was going to cross the line too.

When Tristan left the common room at the end of lunch time, he went straight to his office to deal with his sister. He entered and slammed the door shut making his sister jump in her position in front of her desk in millitary stance. He sighed and tried not to sound too harsh. Clarisa was his baby sister. The only one he couldnt raise his voice at besides Vienna. Tristan slowly walked around Clarisa and stood in front of his desk. He sat on the edge of his desk and put his hands on his hips "What on earth were you thinking? Answer me and dont try to give me excuses. Why on earth did you climb a tree?" His tone was composed and level but still he had a hard tone that went with his hard, serious expression that warned Clarisa to choose her words wisely.

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